this has been a bad summer for bugs. ants, specifically. we've had them in every room of the house. we've had them in the backyard. we've had them in the garage. heck, i've even seen a couple in my bed here and there. they come in to get out of the heat. they come in to get out of the cold. they come in for water. for food. for teensy, infinitesimal crumbs. and most recently, they come in for poopy diapers. gross.
i spent a fair amount of time cleaning up an infiltration of ants this morning. they found the dog food that we keep in the kitchen. i vacuumed them up and sprayed the dog food bucket with dr. bronner's peppermint soap. this is a pure castile soap (fair trade, organic, 100% biodegradable) and can be used in a wide range of ways... for dishes, as a bodywash or shampoo, for making your own household cleaners, as a fruit & veggie wash, etc. i have dr. bronner's in both almond and peppermint varieties and love them both. the oils in the peppermint variety supposedly work as a mild insecticide. we've used it on and off to help deal with the ants. it kills them on contact, and if you let the soap dry on surfaces, they don't seem to come back. the problem with leaving it, however, is that it creates a kinds of slick, sticky soap residue. not something you'd really want covering all the surfaces in your house.
but i certainly don't want to be spraying raid, either. so when they got into the dirty diapers today, i sprayed the dr. bronner's all around the floor and diaper pail to kill the ants. but i didn't want the soapy mess on the floor. so i wiped it up and sprinkled cinnamon around the pail. supposedly it burns their little feet so they stay away. (can you picture this?) anyway, it seems to be working. no ants at the moment. i mean, i have a fair dusting of cinnamon on my floor, but if it's safe for the baby (and the rest of us) than i guess that's okay.